TCA: CW Expects ‘Supergirl’ to Carry Ratings Load

Updated: Network introduces what it calls first gay superhero lead on digital channel
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Complete Coverage: TCA Summer 2016

CW rookie Supergirl is expected to perform like a veteran on its new network, said Mark Pedowitz, CW president. Pedowitz said the show will not likely reach similar ratings to what it did on CBS but is still expected to pop a consistently strong number. “Whatever it does, it will probably be the No. 1 or No. 2 show for us this season,” he said.

Pedowitz said he jumped at the chance to snag the Warner Bros. Television drama for his own air. “I was asked prior to May schedule, would you like to have Supergirl," he said. “I said, where do I sign up?”

CW also announced that it will debut an animated series called Freedom Fighters: The Ray on digital channel CW Seed, which will introduce the first gay superhero to lead a show. CW is putting alumni series The Game, Everybody Hates Chris and Girlfriends on its Seed platform this year.

A Friday the 13th series is not being developed, he added.

And Pedowitz said he hopes a Netflix binge of season one will help build viewership for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. “We support that series,” he said. “We believe it’s unique.”

Netflix is notorious for keeping data under wraps. “We want the numbers,” said Pedowitz. “We pray for the numbers.”

With 15 broadcast series, Pedowitz stressed the importance of year-round programming. “It’s important to advertisers, it’s important to us as a network and our identity, and I think it’s important to our affiliates,” he said.

Season 12 of Supernatural debuts Oct. 13. Pedowitz said there’s no end in sight for the demon hunting drama. “If the ratings hold, it could outlast my tenure in this chair,” he said.  

Like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend before them, Pedowitz said new dramas Frequency and Riverdale were developed for other networks. “We’re opportunistic,” he said. “Series that have been passed on by someone else, we’ll take a look at it.”

Pedowitz promised a “big crossover” involving Supergirl and the network’s various superhero properties. Supergirl is “now very much embedded in our DNA,” he said. “It fits and we’re proud of it.”

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